Ace interview I did with Perfume Genius for Think-Work-Play.
Perfume Genius, the alter ego of Mike Hadreas hop, skipped and jumped onto the scene in 2010 with his excellent solo album 'Learning'. Now back with his follow-up album 'Put Your Back N 2 It', not so much an ode to Ice Cube, but an album that sees Seattle native Hadreas as equally sorrowful as the late Kurt Cobain and similarly, as sombre as Alice in Chains. The often provocative Northwestern boy, combines haunting, minimal instrumentation with lyrics of heartache, alienation, whilst spotlighting the occasional tale of 'hookerism' and gay suicide in the process. The Guardian once called his style 'not chillwave, but ill-wave' and the description fits pretty perfectly. We’ve asked Perfume Genius some questions, and as you'd expect they are anything but dull…
Think-Work-Play: What have you learned since releasing your last album ‘Learning’?
Perfume Genius: That my problems aren't unique to me alone.
Who are your top three musical influencers?
Bob Dylan, Otis Redding & PJ Harvey.
If you could have written one song, which one would it be and why?
These are so hard! Maybe "Ride" by Ciara. That would be pretty badass.
Because you’re called Perfume Genius: Music-wise what’s the most ingenious thing you have recently accomplished / done?
Oh Lord! Well, I am pretty proud of the "Hood" video and that I stuck by my ideas.
What does success smell like?
Weird & Kewl
What’s your favourite smell?
What constitutes genius?
I have no idea.
Describe your world today in one word.
Can you take a photo of what’s right in front of you now and send it to us?
My Xena action figure on the windowsill.
Where are we most likely to find you on a Friday night?
Binge eating on the couch.
What do you like most about what you do?
The opportunity to be compassionate and tender about experiences I struggle with accepting in my daily life.
Where do you spend your time “thinking, working and playing”?
Everywhere but my phone. I hate my fucking future phone.
- THINK: where do you come up with your ideas, is there a special place or do random places spring up best ideas - examples?
Usually any situation where I am brought outside of myself a bit. When I actually stop and listen.
- WORK: where is your studio, or work place?
This filthy apartment I live in with my graveyard of empty diet cokes.
- PLAY: unwind, party – do you have a favourite place?
The Eating Couch.
What are the most important qualities in a musician?
Balancing belief in your ideas without becoming indulgent DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE?
Finally, you’re an icon of the unconventional and daring, tell us something really boring about yourself….
I have had to pee during this entire interview.
Put Your Back N 2 It is out on Matador Records on February 21st.